Specialized science, technology, engineering, and math-based workshops, field programs, and career training for students in grades K-20.
A strong basic understanding of concepts in science is crucial to every child’s academic development. Harbor WildWatch helps supplement this education by providing STEM workshops to students through the Harbor Outreach Program (HOP).
The core HOP workshops are presented in a series for 3rd through 5th-grade students that meet both state science standards and national STEM standards. Each series includes 3 workshops (60 minutes each) and builds on the previous lesson to create an easy transition between various topics. Each series is accompanied by a unique evaluation lesson to gauge students retention of the content.
These workshops are offered for free to public school classrooms in the Peninsula, Tacoma, Steilacoom, Bethel, University Place, Clover Park and South Kitsap School Districts. Workshops may be available for private schools with a small fee.
Teachers are encouraged to book workshops as far in advance as possible to ensure availability. Download the workshop synopsis below for more information or contact our Education Director, Rachel Easton, to schedule.
More About Classroom Workshops
This is a great series to start your classrooms exploration into environmental studies. Students learn about the types and formation of rocks, causes of erosion, plate tectonics, and the role glaciers played in the formation of the Salish Sea. Workshop topics include:
- Slip Sliding Away-Erosion: This lesson investigates the physics of gravity, friction and force between wind, water, wave, and chemical influences that formed the Salish Sea.
- Slip Sliding Away-Tectonics: This workshop continues the exploration into erosion via tectonic forces that deform and create new crust through a volcano model simulation and video examination.
- Movin’ Glaciers: This lesson explores glacial advances, retreats, and how ice has shaped our world using glacial erosion modeling.
The Explorer Series provides meaningful opportunities for K-12 students to explore the natural world in an outdoor setting. Led by staff biologists, students will improve their knowledge of water quality, the water cycle, native plants, fish and wildlife habitat, salmon life-cycles, soil health, and climate change.
Workshops take place at a local beach, estuary, wetland, or forest where students have the opportunity to examine the role that habitat plays and how their actions can help protect it. The goals of this program are to:
- Increase eco-literacy
- Cultivate a sense of place
- Inspire future generations to be good stewards of the environment
These programs are provided free of charge for public schools thanks to our generous grantors. There is a suggested donation of $150 per class for private schools. Review our field course options below or contact our Education Director, Rachel Easton, to book your program!
Now offering in person field trips! Book now!
More About Field Courses
Late Spring (May and June)
Students interact with a variety of marine invertebrates through guided beach walks with a staff biologist. Topics covered include tides, zonation, habitats, adaptation, reproduction, and proper beach etiquette. Must take place during low-tide event. Great for end of school year field trips. If transportation to a beach is not possible, digital options are also available.
- 5:1 student-chaperone ratio required
- 3 hours recommended (including lunch break)
- Maximum 150 students per day
Paid Internship Opportunities
Harbor WildWatch’s vision is to be a catalyst for environmental education in our community. One way we can accomplish this vision is by training the future environmental educators of the world through our paid internship program.
This part-time, internship provides current or recently graduated students with experience they will need to enter the environmental education workforce. Our interns have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of work experience programs, including:
The ideal candidate is pursuing a degree (or is a recent graduate of) biology/marine science/environmental studies and has an interest in environmental education. Applicants should be organized, possess strong interpersonal skills, and thrive in a collaborative working environment. Interns work under close supervision of paid staff members and are required to travel to the Gig Harbor office. Exceptional interns are considered for paid staff positions, when available.
The 2023 Spring/Summer Internship position is open – Applicants should complete the Internship Application Form by 11:59pm, May 11, 2023.
Questions? Check out the Internship Job Description or fill out the inquiry form below.
On Hold - Junior Naturalist Workshops
Unfortunately, our Jr. Naturalist workshops are our pause in 2023. Stay tuned for other learning opportunities.
The goal of our monthly Jr. Naturalist Workshops is to inspire young people to be good stewards of the environment. Students will study various ecosystems and their connections to humans through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) activities.
These workshops are ideal for students who show a high level of interest in science and do well in a team setting.
Students must be age 6-12 and each workshop has a fee of $25. Workshops will take place at various local parks. Dates and times vary, so check the schedule carefully. (Discover passes are required for Washington State Parks.) Parents are welcome to attend alongside their children, or drop them off to learn with our biologists. Students may sign up for individual workshops or all 8. Spots are limited, so sign up today!
For more information, contact our Education Director, Rachel Easton.